Teach 'Em a Lesson When the Lesson Matters
There was a time in the NHL when a player could make a huge hit and not look over his shoulder and see four of the other team's players "sticking up" for the teammate who got crunched.
I have no idea when this practice started but it is damn annoying. Back in the 80s, if you somehow got a hit on Gretzky you'd have to meet up with Marty McSorley or Dave Semenko, either later that game or sometime in the near future but Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson and Paul Coffey were not jumping to his "defense".
Gretz was a superstar, so teammates felt they needed to "stand up" for him. Dave Schultz did it for Clarke, Jay Caufield did it for Mario and so on....
But they waited.
They didn't jump the player immediately after the hit, but like I said, they were superstars. Nowadays it's happening with EVERY player. Doesn't matter if it's Claude Giroux being hit, or Eric Wellwood, there is Scott Hartnell skating after the hitter and trying to fight him.
When did this start happening? Was there a memo passed around to every player in the League that if you wanted to hammer an opponent you should expect to be jumped by the other four guys on the ice and the hot dog vendors?
I'm just glad nobody stood up for Sami Kapanen from this hit delivered by Darcy Tucker.
If a player felt they had to "stand up" for Sami, Roenick doesn't score, and the Flyers would have had to keep playing on in a tough environment in Toronto. What better way to "stand up" to Darcy Tucker than by sending him home to work on his golf game?
You can get Darcy another time.
So, Hartnell, next time you feel you have to "right the wrong" after Nodl gets blasted on a legal hit....stop. Get the guy next time, cleanly, with his head down (although his head's probably down because he's trying to leap over your horizontal body after you blew another tire and fell to the ice).